Severe malarial anemia (SMA), caused by Plasmodium falciparum infections, is one of the leading causes of childhood mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Although the molecular determinants of SMA are largely undefined, dysregulation in host-derived inflammatory mediators influences disease severity. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is an important regulator of innate inflammatory responses that has recently been shown to suppress erythropoiesis and promote pathogenesis of SMA in murine models. To examine the role of MIF in the development of childhood SMA, peripheral blood MIF production was examined in Kenyan children (aged <3 years, n = 357) with P. falciparum malarial anemia. All children in the study were free from bacteremia and human immunodeficiency virus type 1.